Action Research in Audience Analytics…our 10 projects announced
In July we launched a new hyperlocal media funding call, Action Research in Audience Analytics, and today we’re happy to announce the successful applicants. The call closed on Monday 10 August with 36 applications received.
Applications came from across England, Scotland and Wales and from a range of organisations, including some that are very well established and others that have only recently emerged. Interestingly, applications were also received from organisations that don’t intrinsically provide a news and information service. Arts, youth and health care organisations and even local authorities, included.
A reflection both on how far a reach the funding call had, and also as to how the classification or definition of hyperlocal media is interchangeable and regarded across a range of different sectors.
For the purpose of this project we define hyperlocal media as “online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small, geographically defined community in the UK that create public value”.
The 10 services each receiving £6,500 funding from Nesta and participating in the project, are those that most strongly matched the eligibility and selection criteria as outlined in the funding call:
- Telford Live in Telford, Shropshire
- Roseland Online in Roseland, Cornwall
- A Little Bit of Stone in Stone, Staffordshire
- My Turriff in Turriff, Aberdeenshire
- The Bristol Cable in Bristol
- Bitterne Park in Southampton, Hampshire
- Star and Crescent in Portsmouth, Hampshire
- On the Wight in the Isle of Wight, Hampshire
- West Leeds Dispatch in Leeds, Yorkshire
- The Richmond Noticeboard in Richmond, North Yorkshire
Between now and February, the participants will each explore how a more strategic use of website and social media analytics might help them define and measure their success online, improve their service, audience engagement and reach, and, in turn, their sustainability and legacy within their local community.
We’re kick-starting the project with a training day today, where we’re bring together the participants along with external trainers who have expertise across a range of pertinent themes. These include:
- digital identity, being led by Abhay Adhikari
- social media & website analytics and SEO, being led by Chris Unitt
- mobile marketing and content marketing, being led by Mark Brill
- and online advertising, being led by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau).
The objective of the training day is to introduce participants to working methods, tools and tactics that they can implement throughout the project to help them determine what to change and how to change it. Participants will be considering some key questions about their service, such as what they want to change / improve, what 'success' means to them in relation to their service, how they might achieve this, and what they might be challenged by during the project.
During the four-month project trial (1 October 2015 to 31 January 2016) participants will be undertaking self-assigned experiments – experimenting with Facebook adverts, website surveys and online advertising campaigns, included - and will be measuring their progress against the impact that they want to achieve. They’ll also be recording and reporting raw data about their audiences, participating in peer-learning and publishing their reflections…all in order to share knowledge and inform the wider research objectives. We see this project as helping us to answer five core questions / objectives:
- What barriers are there to hyperlocal media publishers analysing their audience and content?
- How does training, upskilling and trial participation help hyperlocal media publishers overcome these barriers?
- What evidence do the trials provide about local audiences and their consumption of hyperlocal media?
- What evidence does this research provide to the wider sector about the cost-benefit of audience and content analysis and its impact on the commercial and social value proposition of services? - including services’ ability to demonstrate their value to potential partnerships with traditional/established media groups and local services?
- Development and dissemination of learning resources for long-term benefit of and use by the wider hyperlocal media sector
As the project progresses and we start to share updates and resources – including the online video tutorials – we’ll keep updating the Destination Local section of our website. Also, follow the #DestinationLocal hashtag on Twitter and my @girlondon Twitter profile, and sign up to Nesta’s weekly newsletter if you haven’t already.